Chicago Coumadin & Blood Thinner Error Lawsuits
Did you suffer an injury related to Coumadin, or have you been hurt by using Coumadin or other blood thinner prescribed by your treating physician?
Do you want to file a medical malpractice claim to ensure you receive the financial compensation you deserve? You should speak with an attorney experienced in handling medical malpractice claims.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys can hold your physician or pharmacist legally and financially accountable if their medication errors led to internal bleeding or other severe complications.
Contact our medical malpractice law office today at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form 24 hours a day to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our medical malpractice lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
What is a Blood Thinner?
Anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, are medications used to prevent or reduce coagulation of blood. Coagulation is when blood thickens from a liquid to a gel, forming blood clots.
Some well-known blood thinners include:
A blood thinner drug is usually given to a patient at risk of having deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, atrial fibrillation, and other conditions involving blood clots.
A patient who has experienced a heart attack or stroke will likely be given a blood thinner to prevent a recurrence.
How Blood Thinner Errors Occur
Blood thinners can prevent further damage in a patient who has already suffered a severe condition. They are also used on patients at risk of developing blood clots.
There are also risky situations that require blood thinners for a patient who needs a procedure performed. In these instances, doctors need to carefully monitor a patient.
The vast majority of medical malpractice lawsuits related to blood-thinning medications are found in the following situations.
Failure to Monitor
A doctor may fail to closely monitor a patient for an adverse reaction or overdose of a blood thinner drug. Testing may be necessary to monitor the clotting rate to avoid internal bleeding in a patient.
The blood thinner needs to be maintained in a therapeutic range of 2.5 and 3.5 on a scale. This scale is part of a clotting test called INR. Regular blood tests will be required of the patient to maintain the therapeutic range necessary.
Reaction to Diet and Other Drugs
Doctors must also consider the patient's medical history and other medications they may be taking. Patients taking blood-thinning drugs need to be closely monitored because failure to do so can lead to life-threatening consequences.
Patients need to be educated on which types of drugs to avoid while on a blood thinner. Typically, patients on the blood thinners, Coumadin or Warfarin, should also be advised to avoid certain foods with vitamin K.
Vitamin K is used to make proteins that are needed for blood clotting. These anticoagulants interfere with how your body uses vitamin K to slowly make the blood clot.
Overdose or Incorrect Dosage
A human error usually causes an overdose of blood thinners. This overdose could occur because the wrong dose may be administered or the patient was not monitored closely.
This situation can also happen when a health professional fails to check medication before administering it. Overdosing can cause a patient to bleed too much and other complications.
Bridging (anticoagulant therapy) involves administering a short-acting parenteral anticoagulant to a patient preparing to have surgery. The procedure can be risky because taking anticoagulants can increase the chances of the patient bleeding too much and even result in death.
Bridging anticoagulant therapy is used to help reduce the chance of a patient developing blood clots and other complications.
Doctors must be careful to follow protocols and ensure that the INR range is at the therapeutic level of 2.0-3.0 for atrial fibrillation or 2.5-3.5 for prosthetic heart valves.
Blood Thinner Coumadin
Coumadin is commonly prescribed in hospitals and nursing home settings. It is used to treat and prevent blood clots that lead to deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and strokes.
Coumadin is prescribed as a specific dosage and given simultaneously every day. A physician's error with Coumadin can result in devastating consequences.
If a doctor administers too much of the blood thinner, the patient may experience severe bleeding. Blood clots can lead to heart attacks, and other complications can occur if too little is administered.
Side Effects of Coumadin and Similar Medications
The vast majority of patients who experience a side effect from this drug will have excessive bleeding. A medication error with Coumadin can also lead to patients having a stroke, heart attack, or other life-threatening injuries.
Side effects can include:
- Prolonged bleeding
- Severe bleeding
- Bruising easily
- Stomach pain
- Discoloration of the urine
- Coughing up blood
- Swelling or tenderness
Risk Factors Associated with Blood Thinners
Some factors can increase a person's chance of suffering a side effect or complication from using a blood thinner. Some of the risk factors involve:
- High blood pressure
- Long-term use of a blood thinner
- Being over the age of 65
- Having a low blood count
- Medical conditions affecting the liver and kidney
Medical Malpractice Claims and Coumadin
There are many risks associated with using a blood thinner. A physician's error can be considered medical malpractice.
The complications that result from negligence when administering blood thinners can lead to severe injury and even death.
If you have been hurt due to negligence from a doctor who administered a blood thinner, you should consult with a medical malpractice attorney. You may be able to recover damages, including medical bills, future expenses, and pain and suffering.
If you have a loved one who has died due to hospital negligence, you can also file a wrongful death suit. The death of a loved one due to the error of a health care physician involving blood thinners is difficult for the family.
You can hold the doctor, staff, and hospital responsible for damages that resulted from a medication error.
Coumadin Monitoring in Nursing Homes
The care in US nursing homes isn't exemplary, and multiple studies have reflected that. For example, a study showed that warfarin use in nursing homes raises safety concerns.
Some typical bleeding events in these situations are:
- Ecchymoses (discoloration of the skin because of subdermal bleeding)
- Gross hematuria (excessive blood in the urine)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Microhematuria (small amounts of blood in the urine)
Educating the nursing home staff about proper Coumadin use can prevent these adverse effects. Any misuse of the medicine could cause severe bleeding complications.
But if you or one of your loved ones has sustained injuries because of the misuse of this drug, you can file for medical malpractice.
Overdose of anticoagulant medications is hazardous. You need to call the best attorney if you want to win class-action lawsuits or personal cases against large pharma companies or hospitals.
Coumadin Errors in Hospitals
Coumadin errors also take place in hospitalized patients. A Coumadin error in the hospital can occur in several ways.
One way is for an inaccurate dose to be administered to the patient, usually due to misreading the dosage or failure to recognize that more than one drug was ordered.
A Coumadin overdose can cause bleeding and even death if this patient comes in contact with certain substances such as tetracycline antibiotics.
These antibiotics break down proteins contained within red blood cells, thus causing them to decrease oxygen getting through the body system.
Hire a Personal Injury Law Firm to Obtain Financial Compensation for Medical Negligence
Do you suspect that you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice? Have you suffered a preventable injury through an overdose of Coumadin, or did your doctor fail to monitor your therapeutic dose, leading to severe complications?
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases.
Contact our law office today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free) or use the contact form for a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.
All sensitive or confidential information you share with your blood thinner lawsuit attorney remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our law firm accepts every medical malpractice claim, personal injury case, and wrongful death lawsuit through a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement ensures that you pay no legal fees until we successfully resolve your legal issue through a negotiated agreement or jury verdict.